Asian Music Recommendations January 2014 Edition
Since February ends today…I should really get my January recommendations up, shouldn’t I? Then it will be on to working on the February bunch, lol. I’m always trying something different. I still think that no matter what I do, I’m always going to recommend A LOT. So, there’s quite a few songs in the playlist (112), but I put my absolute favorites at the tops and those are the ones that I’ll be covering (which is a little bit less than half…lol).
- Jung Yoonhak is back! The leader of Supernova/Choshinsei has finished his mandatory military duty and since Supernova has a much larger following in Japan…looks like that is where he released his comeback album. I really wish it was easier to get Japanese music in the US as I would LOVE to have all of Choshinsei’s albums and this new release “I Loved You All”.
- Every Little Thing “START” – the music is awesome and I like the figure skating clips, too.
- The Sketchbook “Soko ni kimi ga iru” – Love Love Love The Sketchbook!!! It’s funny…even though I’ve been listening to this band since last year, I just realized that the lead singer is the bassist. You don’t see that too often it seems.
- J-Min “Sorry” – It seems like it’s been a long time we heard from J-Min. Her Japanese release is just as awesome as her last Korean one.
- SuG “Missing” – Um…happy to have SuG with a new release. It’s a good song…with a totally screwy video.
- USAGI “Imagine” – I think this is USAGI’s debut. I love them already! I’m not 100% if they a duo or if they have more members.
- ALL CITY STEPPERS “Witch” – the group name makes it sound like they should be a dance group (one that just dances), but they are a band! And this song is highly addictive.
- Takanashi Mariani “ne~e, mo~o nidoto aenai” – LOVE her voice!
- ONE OK ROCK “Clock Strikes” – The English mostly makes sense and the vocalist’s pronunciation is awesome. I really love their sound. I can’t believe I just started listening to them only last year.
- BIRTH feat. NOA “Beautiful” – Appearances aren’t everything. But you have to love it when you have these big buff guys with a tough image…and then they have some of the prettiest voices. I really love BIRTH and their tough appearances bely their great voices.
- VOG “Takaramono” – never heard of VOG before, but he has a great voice. The video is cute as a girl is making some type of dessert.
- Amuro Namie “Tsuki” – I really wish they had the full song instead of only a minute of it. It’s absolutely beautiful!!!!
- WHITE JAM “Valentine” – It’s got a video with a story which doesn’t always happen with Japanese PVs. I like it as it’s really cool. I do have to say, though, since the song is called “Valentine” I was thinking it would definitely be a good song to release on Valentine’s Day.
- LIFriends “Love Me Babe” – I have to laugh when I watch the video to the song. It’s a fun song with a fun video
- Marigold “ Four Get Me A Nots” – A female fronted band. Horrible English title for the song, but it’s a great song over all.
- Seo In Guk “Everlasting Love” – There is just something about Seo In Guk’s voice. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t. His songs are always hit and miss with me, but I totally found myself falling in love with this song and listening to it over and over again.
- Hirai Dai “The Light ~Blue Sky~” – I heart him. There’s something adorable about him and I just love all of the songs of his that I find. His English pronunciation is also really good. I really wish I had the full song to share with you.
- UNiTE “Ai –’ation-“ – I was on the fence, but I really did fall hard for this song after a couple of listens enough to put this in my favorites for Japanese releases.
- Ailee “Singing Got Better” – I do love Ailee’s voice. I thought this song was awesome the first time I heard it and I loved it even more when I learnt that Wheesung was the one who composed it. Now when will he release his own album now that he’s officially back from the military?
- Air Plane “How R U?” – Air Plane!!!!!!!!!!!!! So happy to be hearing more from them to start off the year. I fell in love with their debut song and so far am liking every release they put out.
- Ali, Yim Jae Beom “I Love You” – The MV features C-CLOWN’s Ray in case you didn’t know. Nothing like watching a story play out in reverse while listening to the song. What is really cool is that Yim Jae Beom told Ali he really would like to work with her when she sang one of his songs on Immortal Songs 2 and here they are! I think their voices really suited one another which doesn’t always happen with duets.
- ASHGRAY “The Little Prince” – I can’t explain why…but I reallyreallyreally LOVE this song. Again it’s a song with a really WTF MV (like SuG’s “Missing” but not quite that weird).
- B1A4 “Lonely” – Yay! I love B1A4. You can definitely tell there songs. They do have a certain sound and that’s not a bad thing. I think MV did a rather good job of expressing “loneliness” but the song almost seems too upbeat for the theme. I’m impressed that we didn’t have the boys singing brightly with big smiles when they talk about being lonely. That happens so often in kpop videos.
- BEAT WIN “She’s My Girl” – Okay. It was between featuring either this song or A-Prince’s “Yes or No”. I felt I liked this song from beginning to end a teeny bit better than A-Prince’s. This was cemented when I was watching Inkigayo.
- GB9 “I Hope It’s Windy” – Yes, I know that other places translates the title as “I Hope It’s Breeze”…bad English. “I Hope It’s Windy” or “I Hope there’s a Breeze” is more grammatically correct. Anywho, great ballad. I couldn’t get into the drama, but it still has an awesome soundtrack.
- Hong Dae Kwang “No Answer” – It’s a really great song with an interesting video. I kind of wasn’t expecting what happened in it. I’m really happy to have discovered Hong Dae Kwang last year. I don’t think I knew about him before in my 4 years of listening to kpop.
- J. Yun Ki “Palbegae” – It’s a soft song with little accompaniment so that you can really hear J. Yun Ki’s beautiful voice.
- Jung Jun Young “I’m Nobody” – Love this song, but wasn’t 100% certain if I really wanted to include it in my top picks. But then I listened to it one more time and it made the top of the list.
- J Bel “Idealistic Real” – For some reason, when the first strains of the song were heard I was expecting harder rock. This has a rock undertone, but the vocals are rather soft. Not where they are overpowered by the music, though, and it just drew me in.
- Kim Kyeong Rok feat. PO “It’s Not a Big Deal” – I guess this is part of the short drama Aftermath’s OST. Haven’t watched the show yet. I’m so happy V.O.S (Voice of Soul) is done with their mandatory military duty. I’ll be even happier when they come back together as one instead of solo.
- Kim Woo Joo feat. Yiruma “Winter Night” – LOVE Kim Woo Joo. His voice is awesome. Enough said. I’m not saying I look old and I myself am a horrible judge of age, but it’s really hard to believe we are the same age which means he’s nearly 30. He still looks very young.
- Kiss & Cry “Domino” – They are from the same agency as Mr.Mr a group that does feature strong male vocals. Their female idol group also boasts some strong female vocalists. I really love their debut song which is rare since I don’t necessarily enjoy a lot of girl group releases.
- Lee Hyori “Don’t Cry” – There’s just something about this song. I can’t put my finger on it, but I absolute love it!
- M.C The Max “Wind that Blows” – Songs with wind in the title are in this month apparently. Another awesome ballad! There are some really interesting effects in the MV for the song. It’s kind of cool and kind of creepy, too.
- Royal Pirates “Drawing The Line” – They are back! I just LOVED this song. It’s probably close to my favorite of the month. The non-band version of the MV is a really fun MV.
- Song Euni, Song Seung Hyeon “Nike” – One of the coolest things about this song is the MV. They are parodying some of the bigger and popular MVs. It’s a really fun song. I thought it was interesting that Seung Hyeon joined in the dancing because I still remember his popular random dance explosion from Idol Magnae Rebellion so I can only think of those dances of his. Not that the dancing here is anything amazing and totally hard, but still.
- Taibian “Pinokio” – This is an addictive song with a great harmony mixing with some rap and the MV really seems to fit the song.
- Jeong Yu Yeon “Naega Geulyeoon Na” – Another drama I haven’t watched, but I am falling in love with the OST. Seriously. I think this is the best song to date from that soundtrack.
- WAX “Coin Laundry (Never Loved)” – I was torn between this song and Zia’s, but this song eventually won. I love the song and really love the MV to it, too.
- Zatmaruami “Dreaming Eternity in Live As Tiny Dust” – LONG complicated title. Awesome song. I really want this album. After paying off several bills…no money for music for awhile. Sad day.
- Zatmaruami “There Is Only Rise And Fall Of The Value of Existence In A Life” – that title is even worse than the previous one, isn’t it? They really like long complicated titles it seems. But that’s okay as their music is really awesome, lol.
- Mike D. Angelo “Oh Baby I” – Great song. Mike has an awesome voice. The video? Oh it’s a lovely slice of silliness. I actually discovered Mike thanks to the duo he formed with his older brother Golf. They were called…Golf Mike. They’ve pretty much been doing solo albums and activities for awhile. But both brothers are very talented and have great voices. The duo even did a song with some Johnny Juniors in Japan! If you like Thai dramas, Mike’s currently starring in the Thai version of Korean hit Full House.
- ALZHEIMER “Wind (Acoustic Version)” – I Love ALZHEIMER and I love good acoustic music. This song is just lovely.
- Kanda “นางร้ายป้ายแดง” (Villain Red) – I really fell in love with the song and listened to it over and over again. And the MV!!!! It’s like a mini Lakorn. Lots of violence and twists.
- Roger Yang “Lonely Lovers” – Where have I been all of this time that I did not hear of Roger Yang? He is awesome and I totally love this song.
- Sun Dou-er “Love Story” – Never heard of this singer/songwriter before, but will definitely be keeping my eye out for more by him. He’s just amazing!
- Stefanie Sun (Sun Yan Zi) “Kepler” – I have one of her earlier albums. I should really look into getting more of her music. I really do love Stefanie’s voice.
- Xue Zhi Qian (Jacky/Jackie) “Ugly” – This song is my favorite in this section. I listened to it over and over and over and over again. There’s just something about it. Of course, the band and Zhi Qian wear a white mask in parts of the video…and it just gives me the heebie jeebies. It reminds me of the mask Michael Myers wore in that horror franchise.
- Mr. “Love and Peace” – Have not heard of this Hong Kong band before, but have absolutely fallen in love with them with this song and this rainy day video.
- JiaJia “Dust” – She’s been doing a lot of OST work it seems. I really do love her voice and her music. I almost put three songs by her in my top list, but refrained—I only put two instead.
- JiaJia “Sing For Lonely Souls” – Love the song. The accompanying MV isn’t bad…but at the same time I’m not really certain how much it fits the song.
And that’s it. Instead of doing individual posts for each (Korea, Japan, Thailand/China/Hong Kong/Taiwan) I rolled them all into one and picked my top favorites. Songs 52-112 aren’t bad. I liked them. But the songs above are the ones I listened to nonstop and really fell in love with.